frigate systems upgrade2

Anzac Frigate Systems Upgrade

The Frigate Systems Upgrade (FSU) project is upgrading the frigates' surveillance, combat and self-defence capabilities to match current and future threats and address obsolescence of some current systems. This will deliver a new combat management system, new radars, electronic detection and other above water sensors, the self-defence missile system, decoys against missiles and torpedoes, and an upgrade to the hull-mounted sonar.

Government approval

14 April 2014
Total project budget of $446 million was approved; this included project management costs, contingency, introduction into service and capitalisation costs, but excluded foreign exchange variations. The project is being funded by the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF's) baseline as part of the Defence Capability Plan.

11 December 2017

The Government approved an additional $148 million to accommodate increases in installation costs of the combat system equipment into the Anzac ships.

The upgrade is being undertaken in three phases - purchase of equipment, detailed design and installation The first two phases are complete and the first ship is now in the installation phase. There are a number of separate contracts covering various aspects of the project including the Prime System Integrator, installation design, missiles, sonar upgrade, torpedo defence system and anti-ship missile defence decoys.


Prime System Integrator 

Contractor: Lockheed Martin Canada (LMC)

Contract: Designing and supplying the Combat Management System for each ANZAC Class Frigate along with the supply and integration of various sensors, missile system and a Combat System Trainer for the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland. The Combat Management System and many of the sensors are the same as those being provided for the upgrade of the 12 Canadian Navy Halifax Class frigates which was undertaken by LMC.

Tender process: An international open tender process in March-May 2013, followed by due diligence, a contract definition phase and best and final offer (BAFO) process.

Date awarded: 29 April 2014

Contract change: A major contract change was awarded on 12 December 2017 for the undertaking of the installation phase.


Contractor: MBDA (UK)

Contract: Providing the Sea Ceptor, active Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (Maritime) - CAMM(M) which will replace the current RIM7P NATO Seasparrow missile system.

Date awarded: 21 May 2014

Sonar and Underwater Telephone Upgrade

Contractor: Thales Australia Ltd

Contract: Providing the Broadband Sonar Advanced Processing System (BSAPS) for the Spherion B hull-mounted sonar and the TUUM-6 multi-channel Digital Underwater Communication System (DUWCS).

Date awarded: 11 June 2014

Progress: Installation of the underwater telephone and the upgrade to sonar has been completed successfully on both ships.

Anti-ship Missile Defence Decoys

Contractor: Airborne Systems Limited

Contract: Providing anti-ship missile defence soft kill subsystems, along with training and support, spares, support and test equipment, and full documentation.

Date awarded: 3 July 2014

Torpedo Defence System

Contractor: Ultra Electronics Limited

Contract: Providing underwater defence subsystems, along with training and support spares, support and test equipment, and full documentation

Date awarded: 11 July 2014

Inertial Navigation Systems

Contractor: Northrop Grumman

Contract: Replacement of the frigates’ Inertial Navigation System.

Date awarded: 26 February 2015

Navigation Radar

Contractor: OSI Maritime Systems Limited (Canada)

Contract: Providing a navigation radar system based on two Furuno 3000 series X band radars for each ship.

Date awarded: 20 June 2016

Current status

The project is in the acquisition and capability integration phase and this is being managed by a team in the Ministry’s Capability Delivery Division.

Platform preliminary design was completed in late 2015, with the detailed design completed in the second quarter of 2017. Refit of the first ship, HMNZS Te Kaha, commenced on 1 May 2018 in Victoria, Canada, and all exterior work is complete. After the remaining interior refit is concluded, harbour and sea acceptance trials will commence. The second ship, HMNZS Te Mana, started its refit on 1 May 2019.

The Combat System Training, provided under the prime contract by Lockheed Martin, was installed at the Devonport Naval Base in January 2017. Crew training using this system began in July 2018.

Previous frigate mid-life upgrade project work has included a close-in weapon system replacement and the Platform Systems Upgrade, which upgraded the control and monitoring system, overall weight and stability management, the propulsion system, and the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

More information and the latest updates

Keep up-to-date with the latest New Zealand Defence Force media releases and connect on social media(external link).

Find out more about the RNZN’s frigates Te Kaha(external link) and Te Mana(external link).

Contact: Jon Finderup, Director Maritime Domain

Updated: September 2019